Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

February 09, 2017

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7900

Kaiser Permanente Pays $850,000 Settlement

Settles Allegations of Improperly Filling Defective Prescriptions, Faulty Record Keeping in Modesto

FRESNO, Calif. - Kaiser Foundation Health System Inc. has paid $850,000 to settle allegations that a Kaiser Permanente pharmacy in Modesto violated the Controlled Substances (CSA) by improperly filling defective prescriptions and by failing to maintain accurate records, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent-in-Charge John J. Martin announced.

The settlement resolves allegations that a large percentage of prescriptions that the pharmacy filled were incomplete, lacking the patient and dosage information required by the CSA’s implementing regulations. Additionally, the settlement resolves allegations that the pharmacy failed to maintain accurate documentation of incoming and outgoing controlled substances. The investigation identified discrepancies in comparing the pharmacy’s purchase and dispensing records with the actual controlled substances on hand at the pharmacy. Kaiser cooperated with the investigation and has agreed to implement protocols to minimize the chance of future violations.

“One purpose of the CSA is to ensure that pharmacies maintain accurate records to minimize the chance of diversion of powerful and potentially addictive drugs, which wreak havoc on our communities and destroy lives,” U.S. Attorney Talbert said. “Large pharmacy chains and health care conglomerates like Kaiser dispense a high volume of controlled substances to customers and members. Strict compliance with the CSA’s recordkeeping provisions by these entities is imperative.”

“Health care providers and pharmacies that don’t fully comply with the CSA give the public the short end of the stick. DEA will hold entities dispensing controlled substances accountable for their actions to protect public health and safety,” stated DEA Special Agent-in-Charge John J. Martin. This case was the product of an investigation by the Fresno DEA Diversion Group. Assistant U.S. Attorney Vincente A. Tennerelli represented the United States in this matter.

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